Biostimulants are not considered fertilisers in stricto senso, because they aim at improving the plant's environment without providing nutrients. There is no specific Dutch legislation for this type of products and depending on characteristics, biostimulants would fall under the plant protection or fertiliser legislation. If it is none of both, it can only be marketed if it can be considered safe for human and animal health, as well as for the environment.
Companies wanting to place a biostimulant on the Dutch market must comply with various rules and regulations (on e.g. nutrient content, safety for human and environmental health, labelling).
Fertiliser manufactures and suppliers must register with the RVO (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland – Netherlands Enterprise Agency). The Registration must be done with the RVO itself.
Labelling requirements for biostimulants comprise (at a minimum), the trade name, use instructions, net weight, ingredients and their weight percentages. In addition, biostimulants labels should clearly state that the product is not a fertiliser or a plant protection product.
Packaged products must have a label on or inside the packaging, unconditioned products must be accompanied by a separate document containing the required information. It must be clearly readable, indelible and in Dutch. Liquid products should also carry instructions on storage and safety measures.
The Dutch Fertiliser Act (Meststoffenwet) of 27 November 1986 contains regulations as regards to trade with fertilisers.
This law states that it is prohibited to market products that - according to their designation or description, use instructions etc. do not meet the requirements such regarding quality, nature, contents of certain substances, name or application.
Fertilisers consisting entirely or partly of sewage sludge, compost or similar products need an authorisation before being placed on the market. Such authorisation could be linked to restrictions such as the obligation to conduct sample analysis, obligation to make these results available to official bodies, restrictions in terms of sales to specific users or in terms of quantities.
Maximum quantities of nitrogen and/or phosphorous may not be exceeded.
More information on related laws, including animal by-products can be found here.